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SANTA FE — It is becoming obvious that the National Republican Senatorial Committee has decided that Heather Wilson can win New Mexico only by being seen as a great compromiser.
Normally, Republicans are into binding their candidates with pledges never to stray from the party line. But in Wilson's case, she is being characterized as a problem solver, who will reach across the political aisle to craft solutions.
Wilson’s race for the U.S. Senate is being rated by most analysts as “lean Democrat.”
During her 10 years in the U.S. House Wilson was known to sometimes vote for Democratic positions. This gave her a reputation for being a moderate, which hurt her badly in the 2008 GOP primary against Rep. Steve Pearce. But now it’s OK?
Maybe national GOP advisors are following this strategy with candidates in other races that lean Democrat, but regardless, New Mexicans can be proud that we are seen as voters who only will accept candidates who work in a bipartisan manner to reach solutions.
A big apology
A big apology to readers who tried to take the presidential candidate test to learn which candidate thinks most like you. I told you to Google “I Stand With.” I should have written “I Side With” or isidewith.com.
When I wrote the previous column, the site had 320,000 hits. It now boasts more than a million. There is some evidence that voters are learning they side with Gary Johnson more often than they might think.
Johnson’s numbers are climbing in the polls of the states where he is included in the polling. Those are mainly swing states. He is up to 13 percent in New Mexico and 7 percent in Colorado. He has climbed from 2 percent to 5 percent nationally and needs 15 percent nationally to be included in debates.
Out of consideration
Our current governor, Susana Martinez, appears to be out of vice-presidential consideration, by mutual consent, but she hasn’t taken her eye off the national picture.
For the two regular legislative sessions since she took office she has fought attempts to bring the tax rate for national corporations up to the level that New Mexico businesses pay.
This year, states are going to be allowed to start applying gross receipts taxes to Internet sales. The National Conference of State Legislatures says four Republican governors already have jumped at the opportunity.
Gov. Martinez has announced she won’t. New Mexico businesses already collect the tax and send it to the state. The NCSL estimates the state would pull in another $120 million from the out of state Internet sales.
Our governor is doing some traveling this summer to campaign for Republican candidates in other states. This week, she goes to Yakima, Wash., to raise funds for the GOP gubernatorial candidate. For $1,000, guests can get a picture with Gov. Martinez.
Residents along the flight path of the governor’s helicopter when it travels from the mansion to Albuquerque say the frequency of trips has remained about the same since the change of administrations.
An East Coast columnist who attended the Roswell UFO fest early this month says she came away with two impressions of the occasion.
“We don’t celebrate events that didn’t happen. Therefore Roswell happened.” And secondly, “If there aren’t extraterrestrials in New Mexico, why does Arizona have such bizarre illegal alien laws?”
Earlier this summer, I wrote about the $1 billion ghost town headed for Hobbs. It was a project of Pegasus Global Holdings and was to be called the Center for Innovation, Technology and Testing.
Everything about it sounded very impressive — in fact, too impressive. Plans have since been dropped for locating it near Hobbs. Pegasus will look elsewhere in New Mexico. I hope no community wastes its time on the project. Fortunately no taxpayer money has been doled out. The only expense has been the time of public officials.
The moral: If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
Jay Miller is a syndicated columnist based in Santa Fe.